If this blog were any indication, December didn't exist. That month, for our family, involved entirely too much personal material to be blogworthy. Normally, I might have blogged about it. I actually needed to blog about it. But, after the couple of years we have had, I have learned that keeping things close to the vest is easier, less controversial and more likely to empower us.
I don't think I've ever been more ready to turn the calendar to a new year as I am this time.
We have returned to being a family of four. After numerous bureaucratic and red tape log jams, the paperwork finally fell into place and the stars aligned for our youngest to move to her new family right before Christmas. I wrote a piece about it, but it's too raw and is mostly just for me to process the fallout rather than informing anyone left reading this what occurred. I may never publish that post. But, I did need to write it.
It is killing me not to know how she is doing. I have tried to take a hand's off approach with the new family, but I plan to send an e-mail at the end of this week (tomorrow?) just to let them know I am here & concerned, but I don't want to overstep. This is all new territory for us. It's surreal. And painful. And disappointing. It is very weird to go from high alert, ultra vigilant to a complete absence of a need for those things. After nearly a week, today I felt completely discombobulated, exhausted and unmotivated. It is like an electrical current that had been zapping me for about two years suddenly released me and I slumped to the ground.
We stayed home for Christmas. We had a wonderfully lazy and quiet weekend. The girls loved it. The dogs loved it. My husband and I loved it. We played games, did our traditional things, napped, and just hung out together. We don't do that nearly enough. And, we needed it.
I began running again. I needed to and it's been very nice. I think my shoes are shot, though, so my expectation of hitting 54 miles this year (doubling my paltry 27 miles that took me to August or September) isn't so hot. I have 10 more miles to do that and without being able to run more than two miles in these godawful shoes (and no time to replace them before January 1), I need a few more days on the calendar! But, since December 8, I've run 17 miles. That's the most miles I've ever run in a month's time and I didn't even start on the 1st.
I sent Christmas cards this year because we took some ridiculously lovely outdoor shots in November that deserved to be memorialized on a card. I need more stamps to finish up, but they will be out at some point. I didn't, however, write the traditional update letter that I claim to despise, but actually enjoy writing/reading. Maybe I can try it here?
Dear Person Receiving Our Beautiful Card,
2011 marked another not-so-kind year for Fort Warthman. Our little nickname for our home became less of a nickname and more of a description as we had to circle the wagons and go armadillo.
Hubs: Because his right eye remains damaged, he has been loading and unloading trucks at UPS rather than driving them. It is hard work and his schedules have been insane at times. We are hoping the new year will provide him with more opportunities to hunt and fish. His 20th high school class reunion this year was a fun time to reconnect with old buddies and we have spent a great deal more time with them over the past few months. It's been a nice distraction from every day stuff.
Me: I am still trying to figure out what I'd like to be when I grow up. Although I am looking forward to teaching a course by myself in the coming semester, I also know there is a very real possibility that the position I'm doing now could go full-time and rather than being selected as an internal candidate, I will be in competition with every unemployed J.D. within driving distance. Seriously considering launching my own tutoring service for bar takers where I can bill what I like. Also planning to work Scentsy like a crazy person so we can become more financially independent in 2012. I am setting running and writing goals for the new year, plus taking up a new hobby or two.
M1: An official teenager now, M1 continues to impress her teachers. She has been involved in school clubs plus color guard at her intended high school. She signed up for volleyball and looks forward to the season. In 2012, she will participate in the spelling bee and the science fair. She has been such a help this year.
M2: She is becoming a better reader and is playing in a more competitive basketball league this year. Feisty yet sweet, M2 keeps things interesting. She is creative and enjoys helping M1 make things from baked goods to art projects to greeting cards and jewelry.
M3: M3 started her new life with her new family right before Christmas. Earlier in December, she had a wonderful check-up at the burn hospital following her first surgery on her hand in June. She no longer has to wear a compression glove and her range of motion is greatly improved. Her absence leaves a definite void, but we know we did what was best.
Henry & Annie: The dogs are benefiting from our lack of a little person needing chasing and constant supervision. They received lovely Christmas gifts that were perfect for them. Henry received a personalized blankie with his name on it. Annie received a small, stuffed golden retriever puppy dog. Both love them. Henry had a vet appointment earlier in the month and learned he needed surgery on his foot. The surgery went well and his sutures will come out 1/10. Until then, he has to wear the cone of shame when he is unsupervised. Poor Henry.
That wasn't so bad. Nor was it completely illustrative of our year. After all, these are supposed to be upbeat and not hideously detailed with the negative nelly type information.
January's blogging theme for those who pledge to blog everyday is "Beginnings." I think I can certainly find more to write about now that I'm not constantly hiding things for fear of being unfairly ridiculed and judged. I am SO ready for a new beginning.